Dark Chocolate Chunk Apricot Oat Bars

When I was growing up, I always used my “eagle eyes” to find the best parking spot in the lot. Despite the fact that as an adult I am practically blind, back then I was an expert at spotting the perfect, well, spot. This talent has, for better or worse, never disappeared. Nowadays, I don’t spend too much effort finding the best parking spots, because I try (grudgingly) to walk instead. But I do use my talent when I shop. And I shop a lot. Probably more than I’d like to admit. I shop mostly if I am flustered, overwhelmed, and in need of a treat, and big discount stores like Home Goods and Marshalls are my favorite. Boy, do my eagle eyes work there. In fact, I have convinced myself that these stores are a legitimate type of therapy.

Anyways, I stopped in the other day and found a delicious-looking apricot jam. The jam company prided itself on small batch production, and last time I checked, everything homemade in batches is pretty darn good. I first tried the jam out when I made rugelach for my girlfriend, and it was so scrumptious that I knew I would have to find another way to use the rest up.

I saw these apricot bars over at The Pioneer Woman. I Knew that the simple yet perfectly delicious crust would allow the apricot jam to really shine through. I added some chunks of chocolate, because everything tastes better with chocolate. When I opened the oven, I was reminded that standing over the sink and cleaning dishes forever has it’s payoffs.

The first, and most difficult part about these bars, is lining and coating the pan. But, like I said earlier, some things really do payoff. Lining the pan will make the bars really easy to remove and cool. Not to mention the pan will barely need cleaning.

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Now, grab some oatmeal, flour, and brown and white sugars. And some baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

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Throw it all in a bowl and mix until combined.

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Add some cubed butter.

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And mix until combined.

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Pretty simple. right? Now just pat half of it down into a square baking pan.

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Plop (I do use this word a lot, don’t I?) the apricot jam on top of the crust.

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Spread it all around.

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Now just sprinkle on the chocolate chips chunks (Chunks just makes it sound extra chocolatey).

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And the rest of the crumb topping.

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Voila. Done. Now just Bake for 35 minutes.

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Dark Chocolate Chunk Apricot Oat Bars
adapted slightly from The Pioneer Woman’s Apricot Bars

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
Apricot jam, jelly, preserves- whateva you got
1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line and spray an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 square baking pan.
2. Mix together flour, oatmeal, sugars, salt, and baking powder.
3. Add butter and mix with hands or a pastry cutter or a food processor until well combined.
4. Pat down half of the oatmeal mixture into the pan.
5. Spread apricot jam over the oatmeal mixture, and sprinkle on chocolate chips.
6. Drop the rest of the oatmeal mixture on the top of the chocolate chips and lightly pat down.
7. Bake for 35 minutes. Check after about 25 minutes, and if the top is browning too quickly, place a baking sheet on top of pan.
3.

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